Hooked On Horse Racing: Sol Kumin


Sol Kumin with Lady Eli | Sarah Andrew

Tired of all the bad news? So were we. Tonight, we start our new series where we ask people from non-horse racing families two questions: how they get hooked, and how they’ll hook someone else on horse racing.


What was the experience that made you fall in love with horse racing?

Lady Eli. When we bought our first group of horses 5-6 years ago we knew absolutely nothing about the sport of horse racing. In that first group, we ended up with future champion and Breeders Cup winner Lady Eli. The experience of owning a racehorse named after your wife and taking you on a journey around the country is what made me fall in love with horse racing. We experienced the highs of racing, watching her break her maiden at Saratoga racetrack with my wife and kids and then the Breeders’ Cup win at Santa Anita with partners, friends, and family. Then we felt the lows when she stepped on a nail and came down with laminitis, but we grew much closer to her in visiting with her in the barns and at the farm whenever we could get there. Then, of course, her comeback wins after being sick and winning Grade Is at four and five years old to retire a champion. That experience was it for me, it got me hooked.

Would you commit to creating one new fan this year and, if so, what would be the experience you use to introduce them to the sport?

Saratoga. Saratoga Race Course is where I take anyone I want to experience a perfect day of horse racing. The town of Saratoga is magical for seven weeks every summer when the racing industry takes over this beautiful upstate New York town. My favorite part of the day is the early morning on the backside, and treating someone that has never been around racing to a morning “behind the curtain” is where I start. I begin showing them the barns, visiting the horses, the trainers, the grooms, the jockeys, (Dunkin’s for an iced coffee) and explaining how everything works. Following the morning up with a day at the races and then an evening in town for dinner makes for a perfect Saratoga day. If that doesn’t get them hooked, I don’t know what will!

Want to participate? Email [email protected]

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